Posts

Thoughts about Dr Stone and Mythology 2020-02-25T01:51:29.519Z · score: 18 (11 votes)
When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? 2019-12-15T01:02:40.952Z · score: 12 (6 votes)
What do the Charter Cities Institute likely mean when they refer to long term problems with the use of eminent domain? 2019-12-08T00:53:44.933Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
Mako's Notes from Skeptoid's 13 Hour 13th Birthday Stream 2019-10-06T09:43:32.464Z · score: 6 (2 votes)
The Transparent Society: A radical transformation that we should probably undergo 2019-09-03T02:27:21.498Z · score: 8 (6 votes)
Lana Wachowski is doing a new Matrix movie 2019-08-21T00:47:40.521Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Prokaryote Multiverse. An argument that potential simulators do not have significantly more complex physics than ours 2019-08-18T04:22:53.879Z · score: 0 (9 votes)
Can we really prevent all warming for less than 10B$ with the mostly side-effect free geoengineering technique of Marine Cloud Brightening? 2019-08-05T00:12:14.630Z · score: 83 (50 votes)
Will autonomous cars be more economical/efficient as shared urban transit than busses or trains, and by how much? What's some good research on this? 2019-07-31T00:16:59.415Z · score: 10 (5 votes)
If I knew how to make an omohundru optimizer, would I be able to do anything good with that knowledge? 2019-07-12T01:40:48.999Z · score: 5 (3 votes)
In physical eschatology, is Aestivation a sound strategy? 2019-06-17T07:27:31.527Z · score: 18 (5 votes)
Scrying for outcomes where the problem of deepfakes has been solved 2019-04-15T04:45:18.558Z · score: 28 (15 votes)
I found a wild explanation for two big anomalies in metaphysics then became very doubtful of it 2019-04-01T03:19:44.080Z · score: 20 (7 votes)
Is there a.. more exact.. way of scoring a predictor's calibration? 2019-01-16T08:19:15.744Z · score: 22 (4 votes)
The Mirror Chamber: A short story exploring the anthropic measure function and why it can matter 2019-01-11T22:26:29.887Z · score: 18 (7 votes)
The end of public transportation. The future of public transportation. 2018-02-09T21:51:16.080Z · score: 7 (7 votes)
Principia Compat. The potential Importance of Multiverse Theory 2016-02-02T04:22:06.876Z · score: 0 (14 votes)

Comments

Comment by makoyass on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-14T00:51:12.720Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It had not occurred to me that there were any obvious companies a person could invest in to benefit from (and contribute to and accelerate) the response to the pandemic, but https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/yuyvosHTgjDR4giPZ/why-don-t-singularitarians-bet-on-the-creation-of-agi-by mentions the videoconferencing software Zoom. It does seem to be the best videoconferencing software, from what I've heard. It's rare that I've ever had an international internet call from new zealand as stable as the ones I had on Zoom.

Any other industries a person could invest in? Food delivery, perhaps? In NZ I've been seeing lots of posters and qr codes in restaurants for a chinese service called Gogo, though being chinese we probably can't buy any of it.

Comment by makoyass on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-11T22:52:52.155Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Since a tulpa doesn't get its own hardware, it seems likely that hosting one would degrade my original performance. Everyone says this doesn't happen, but I think it'd be very difficult to detect this, especially for someone who isn't already trained in rationality.

I think you might be overlooking something here. I get the impression a lot of thought is consciously directed, and also that a lot of people probably don't... diversify their workload enough to make full use of their resources. IIRC, we can measure a person's caloric efficiency, and people consume more when doing difficult intellectual work. We evolved to conserve energy by not constantly being in that mode, but we no longer have to conserve energy like that, food is cheap. Having more than one locus of consciousness might just result in more useful work overall being done.

In myself, I do get the impression that sometimes nothing useful is really happening in the background. I can consciously start useful cogitation, but I have to focus on it, and I'm easily distracted. This is pretty crap. If there's a way I can get those resources put to something useful (IE, by creating tulpas with a personal focus on solving interesting design problems), I'd want to do it. In the least, it would be really nice if I could navigate traffic or talk to a friend without forgetting completely ceasing all creative cogitation. It would be nice if there were a part of me that always cared and was always pushing it forward.

Even though I haven't been thinking about this from a perspective of tulpamancy or IFS at all, I think I might be part of the way there already, I find I frequently get served ideas completely unrelated to what I'm doing in the moment. This process might be more efficient if I were more accepting of a stronger division between the outward-facing consciousness and the inner problemsolver. The more entangled we demand those processes be, the more they are going to trip each other up. The less parallel they can be.

An informed approach might involve identifying the aspects of thought that can bear concurrent processes, the parts that can't, and designing the division around that.

Comment by makoyass on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-11T22:23:01.338Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think Kermit is a very understandable choice once you've heard him talk about his, imo, quite compelling position on the merits of faith and belief.

Comment by makoyass on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-11T22:15:43.238Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Have you written more about what a good IFS partitioning might look like, in your view? Illustrate an example?

Comment by makoyass on Magic Brain Juice · 2020-03-10T02:51:24.237Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

An aside, some might be interested to know that the story of the two wolves was invented by a white man and runs against most tribes' notion of goodness and badness https://crossingenres.com/you-know-that-charming-story-about-the-two-wolves-its-a-lie-d0d93ea4ebff. You don't present it as an Indian story, but it's hard to hear the story and imagine that that grandpa is an old timey european, talking about good wolves. Europeans historically have not tended to believe in good wolves, or, in the least, they always call those "dogs". This extended to indian dogs, which were visually indistinguishable from, and probably genetically indistinguishable from wolves, but when europeans encountered them they could not bring themselves to call them wolves, for clearly they were sociable and well behaved, and wolves could be no such thing.

Comment by makoyass on Open & Welcome Thread - February 2020 · 2020-02-28T21:53:51.320Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The other other Scott A

Comment by makoyass on Can we really prevent all warming for less than 10B$ with the mostly side-effect free geoengineering technique of Marine Cloud Brightening? · 2020-02-26T23:10:56.373Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No need for him to contact me, better if he came and left a comment here (I'd also be happy to email him and relay the comment)

(sorry for taking over a month to reply)

Comment by makoyass on Thoughts about Dr Stone and Mythology · 2020-02-26T22:39:11.119Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think we should consider looking at indigenous stories, I've heard that a lot of them encode genuinely useful knowledge about ecosystems, this can be a bit hard to discern from the outside (if you don't live in the old ways in the old ecosystems you wont understand the myths), and colonisation is often so brutal that the connection is lastingly obscured, the ecosystem knowledge is lost and by the time the survivors are ready to return to their roots, the connection is lost, the myths are dead, don't mean what they used to, don't serve a purpose in the new world. Some peoples recognise this and try to start remaking their myths (per my recommendation), but it's hard to tell how the new myths reflect the old ones.

Something I worry about is that a lot of things that qualified as entertainment to the ancients aren't recognisable as entertainment to me. I could potentially be very confused by that. Was it really funny or insightful given the right cultural background, or were the audience just starved for novelty and willing to accept the bare minimum amount of wit? Was it a tacit metaphor for something or were they just amused by the idea of a literal talking fox?

Comment by makoyass on Quarantine Preparations · 2020-02-26T22:26:41.025Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How do you calculate logical correlation? Do we know anything about how this would work under UDT? Does UDT not really discuss it, or is it bad at it?

Comment by makoyass on Quarantine Preparations · 2020-02-26T22:16:04.967Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I feel about partial correlation the way I used to feel about the categorical imperative in general; I don't think our formalisations discuss it well at all. However. I know that the CDT way is wrong and I need a name for whatever the better way is supposed to be. What would you recommend. "Newcomblike reasoning"?

Comment by makoyass on Quarantine Preparations · 2020-02-26T07:01:29.154Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That may be true, but it is not a product of the general public not knowing UDT. A large number of people don't think or act in a CDT way either, and a lot of people that don't care for decision theory follow the categorical imperative.

Comment by makoyass on Quarantine Preparations · 2020-02-26T06:57:59.018Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with avturchin, it's an appropriate thought to be having. UDT-like reasoning is actually fairly common in populations that have not been tainted with CDT rationality (IE, normal people) (usually it is written off by cdt rationalists as moralising or collectivism). This line of thinking doesn't require exact equivalence, the fact that there are many other people telling many other communities to prep is enough that all of those communities should consider the aggregate effects of that reasoning process. They are all capable of saying "what if everyone else did this as well? Wouldn't it be bad? Should we really do it?"

Comment by makoyass on Information hazards: Why you should care and what you can do · 2020-02-25T04:47:42.335Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Decrease the likelihood of others developing and/or sharing the information

Promote ideas that make the information hazard seem ridiculous or uninteresting. An example that may or may not be happening is the US government enabling stories of extraterrestrial origin to hide the possibility that they have unreasonably advanced aerospace technology, materially, by encasing it in dumb glowy saucer stuff that doesn't make any sense. (a probably fictional example is good because if someone was smart enough and motivated enough to hide something like this, I probably wouldn't want to tell people about it (if this turns out not to be fictional, USgovt, I'm very sorry, we haven't thought enough about this to understand why you'd want to hide it.))

If the information hazard concerned is going to be around for a long time, you might want to consider constructing an ideological structure that systematically hides the information hazard, under which the only people who get anywhere near questioning enough of their assumptions to find the information hazard also tend to be responsible enough to take it, and where the spread of the information hazard is universally limited. Cease speaking the words that make it articulable. It should be noted, this wont look, from the inside, like a conspiracy. There will not be a single refutation of the idea, under this ideology, because no one would think to write it. It will just seem naturally difficult for most people living under it to notice how the idea might ever be important.

Comment by makoyass on Greg Egan disses stand-ins for Overcoming Bias, SIAI in new book · 2020-02-25T01:12:50.124Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what use "biggest fan" would have as a term, if it meant that. We would rarely ever want to look at or talk about the biggest fans of almost anything. To like something more than anyone else, you have to be weird. Per The Winner's Curse, to get to the top, they'll usually need to have made a mistake somewhere in their estimation of it, to like it a bit more than anyone should.

Perhaps if "fandom" should come to mean "understanding". You do have to like something quite a bit to come to understand it very well (though many will claim to understand a thing they dislike better than the people who like it, they are generally recognisably wrong)

Comment by makoyass on Open & Welcome Thread - February 2020 · 2020-02-18T23:46:52.768Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW
Scott Anderson

Can I infer via nominative determinism that Scott Anderson is a friend of the rationalist community?

Comment by makoyass on Litany Against Anger · 2020-01-26T00:55:51.715Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unlike the thing the litany of gendlin addresses, anger is sometimes warranted. I think this calls for a different approach.

Anger is for punishing violations of moral codes. Did the subject of my anger really know my code?

We live in a big world. There are many different moral codes trying to coexist. I don't know every code. Some of them don't have names or signifiers. Was the subject of my anger following their own code?

If different codes conflict, that calls for a very sophisticated response.

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-23T03:43:52.776Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Why aren't there Knowers of Character who Investigate all Incidents Thoroughly Enough for The Rest of The Community to Defer To, already? Isn't that a natural role that many people would like to play?

Is it just that the community hasn't explicitly formed consensus that the people who're already very close to being in that role can be trusted, and forming that consensus takes a little bit of work?

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-22T08:08:09.608Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'd guess there weren't as many nutcases in the average ancestral climate, as there are in modern news/rumor mills. We underestimate how often it's going to turn out that there wasn't really a reason they did those things.

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-22T08:01:03.233Z · score: 11 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've heard of Zendo and I've been looking for someone to play Eleusis with for a while heh (maybe I'll be able to get the local EA group to do it one of these days).

though insofar as they're optimized for training rationality, they won't be as fun as games optimized purely for being fun

Fun isn't a generic substance. Fun is subjective. A person's sense of fun is informed by something. If you've internalised the rationalist ethos, if your gut trusts your mind, if you know deeply that rationality is useful and that training it is important, a game that trains rationality is going to be a lot of fun for you.

This is something I see often during playtesting. The people who're quickest to give up on the game tend to be the people who don't think experimentation and hypothesising has any place in their life.


I am worried about transfer failure. I guess I need to include discussion of the themes of the game and how they apply to real world situations. Stories about wrong theories, right theories, the power of theorising, the importance of looking closely at cases that break our theories.

I need to... make sure that people can find the symmetry between the game and parts of their lives.

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-21T22:39:55.329Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you have an android phone, sure. I'll DM you a link to the apk. I should note, it's pretty brutal right now and I have not yet found a way to introduce enough primitives to the player to make really strict tests, so it's possible to guess your way all the way to the end. Consider the objective to be figure out the laws, rather than solve the puzzles.

Comment by makoyass on Should We Still Fly? · 2019-12-20T23:05:08.616Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The next question is, why aren't people buying the offsetting? I seem to remembering hearing that it was once an option in most ticket purchase processes, but it must have been an unpopular choice, because the option has disappeared and now offsetting is going to be legally mandated, but apparently the legal mandate does not require enough offsetting to be done (past discussion: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/XRTiojqqJ3wrFFZAf/can-we-really-prevent-all-warming-for-less-than-10busd-with#EbEWLtgcLQXzHjzCb )

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-20T00:52:22.170Z · score: 13 (8 votes) · LW · GW

This is probably the least important question (the answer is that some people are nuts) but also the one that I most want to see answered for some reason.

Comment by makoyass on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-20T00:46:58.565Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I've been developing a game. Systemically, it's about developing accurate theories. The experience of generating theories, probing specimens, firing off experiments, figuring out where the theories go wrong, and refining the theories into fully general laws of nature which are reliable enough to create perfect solutions to complex problem statements. This might make it sound complicated, but it does all of that with relatively few components. Here's a screenshot of the debug build of the game over a portion of the visual design scratchpad (ignore the bird thing, I was just doodling): https://makopool.com/fcfar.png

The rule/specimen/problemstatement is the thing on the left, the experiments/solutions that the player has tried are on the right. You can sort of see in the scratchpad that I'm planning to change how the rule is laid out to make it more central and to make the tree structure as clear as possible (although there's currently an animation where it sort of jiggles the branches in a way that I think makes structure clear, it doesn't look as good this way).

It might turn out to be something like a teaching tool. It illuminates a part of cognition that I think we're all very interested in, not just comprehension, it also tests/trains (I would love to know which) directed creative problemsolving. It seems to reliably teach how frequently and inevitably our right-seeming theories will be wrong.

Playtesting it has been... kind of profound. I'll see a playtester develop a wrong theory and I'll see directly that there's no other way it could have gone. They could not have simply chosen to reserve judgement and not be wrong. They came up with a theory that made sense given the data they'd seen, and they had to be wrong. It is now impossible for me to fall for it when I'm presented with assertions like "It's our best theory and it's only wrong 16% of the time". To coin an idiom.. you could easily hide the curvature of the earth behind an error rate that high, I know this because I've experienced watching all of my smartest friends try their best to get the truth and end up with something else instead.

The game will have to teach people to listen closely to anomalous cases and explore their borders until they find the final simple truth. People who aren't familiar with that kind of thinking tend to give up on the game very quickly. People who are familiar with that kind of thinking tend to find it very rewarding. It would be utterly impotent for me to only try to reach the group who already know most of what the game has to show them. It would be easy to do that. I really really hope I have the patience to struggle and figure out how to reach the group who does not yet understand why the game is fun, instead. It could fail to happen. I've burned out before.

My question: what do you think of that, what do you think of the witness, and would you have any suggestions as to how I could figure out whether the game has the intended effects as a teaching tool.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-19T23:10:02.721Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

No. Measure decrease is bad enough to more than outweigh the utility of the winning timelines. I can imagine some very specific variants that are essentially a technology for assigning specialist workloads to different timelines, but I don't have enough physics to detail it, myself.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-17T22:17:26.697Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sure. The question, there, is whether we should expect there to be any powerful agents with utility functions that care about that.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T23:09:00.825Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The question isn't really whether it's correct, the question is closer to "is it equivalent to the thing we already believed".

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T06:08:39.657Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm noticing a deeper impediment. Before we can imagine how a morality that is relatable to humans might care about the difference between MW and WC, we need to know how to extend the human morality we bare into the bizarre new territory of quantum physics. We don't even have a theory of how human morality extends into modernity, we definitely don't have an idealisation of how human morality should take to the future, and I'm asking for an idealisation of how it would take to something as unprecedented as... timelines popping in and out of existence, universes separated by uncrossable gulfs (how many times have you or your ancestors ever straddled an uncrossable gulf!)

It's going to be very hard to describe a believable agent that has come to care about this new, hidden, bizarre distinction when we don't know how we come to care about anything.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T05:43:04.427Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW
There are some decision algorithms that would pay the £1 if and only if they believed in quantum many worlds

Go on then, which decision algorithms? Note, though: They do have to be plausible models of agency. I don't think it's going to be all that informative if a pointedly irrational model acts contingent on foundational theory when CDT and FDT don't.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T01:23:21.947Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah. I reject it. If you're any good at remapping your utility function after perspective shifts ("rescuing the utility function"), then, after digesting many worlds, you will resolve that being dead in all probable timelines is pretty much what death really is, then, and you have known for a long time that you do not want death, so you don't have much use for quantum suicide gambits.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T01:19:12.541Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry. That last bit about whether causality is involved at all was a little joke. It was bad. That wasn't really what I was pondering.

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T00:17:33.657Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure, it sounds very familiar, but I think it would have sounded very familiar to me before reading it or knowing of its existence. It sounds like the sorts of things I would already know.

People who think this way tend to converge on the same ideas. It's hard to tell whether thinking superrationally causes the convergence, or whether thinking in convergent ways causes a person to have more interest in superrationality, ~~or whether causality is involved at all~~

Comment by makoyass on When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory? · 2019-12-16T00:01:01.044Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No, if 99% of timelines have utility 1, while in 1% of timelines something very improbable happens and you instead cause utility to go to 0, the global utility is still pretty much 1. Some part of the human utility function seems to care about absolute existence or nonexistence, and that component is going to be sort of steamrolled by multiverse theory, but we will mostly just keep on going in pursuit of greater relative measure.

Comment by makoyass on The Actionable Version of "Keep Your Identity Small" · 2019-12-08T08:06:40.959Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think that applies to the sense of tribe that I mean. When you find your tribe, the sense of tribe that I mean, you will realise that leaving it is not really an option that you ever could have had. It is simply what you are. It is simply the group of people who want for the world the same thing that you want for the world.

It can take a long time to find that tribe and to recognise it. It isn't lesswrong, it isn't EA. It's funny to think about how much of an ideological split there is between discounting neartermists and alignmentist longtermists, and how we can still be friends, if anyone started talking about why they're different (and why they're still friends) there would be a lot of discomfort, but for now we just act like it isn't there.

Comment by makoyass on What do the Charter Cities Institute likely mean when they refer to long term problems with the use of eminent domain? · 2019-12-08T07:00:22.180Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The only explanation I can think of, myself, is that they are concerned that using eminent domain would "hurt market confidence" and decrease property prices.

My answer to that would be: Good. Land is reliably overpriced anyway, the land market is not efficient. I'd then refresh my memory of Inadequate Equilibria's argument to that effect (though it may have been specific to houses) and see if it cited anyone.

Comment by makoyass on What do the Charter Cities Institute likely mean when they refer to long term problems with the use of eminent domain? · 2019-12-08T06:55:50.568Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No it does not. Though I'll concede "it does not seem possible" is closer to meaning that, I kind of misspoke, my stance is more; I have reasons to think it's probably impossible (see comment).

Though I wouldn't ask if I weren't open to being surprised.

Comment by makoyass on What do the Charter Cities Institute likely mean when they refer to long term problems with the use of eminent domain? · 2019-12-08T06:45:46.547Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I should note, I explain a little bit about the reasons I'm very concerned by their stance, here

Most economic hardship results from avoidable wars, situations where players must burn resources to signal their strength of desire or power (will). I define Negotiations as processes that reach similar, or better outcomes as their corresponding war. If a viable negotiation process is devised, its parties will generally agree to try to replace the war with it.
Markets for urban land are currently, as far as I can tell, the most harmful avoidable war in existence. Movements in land price fund little useful work[1] and continuously, increasingly diminish the quality of our cities (and so diminish the lives of those who live in cities, which is a lot of people), but they are currently necessary for allocating scarce, central land to high-valuae uses. So, I've been working pretty hard to find an alternate negotiation process for allocating urban land. It's going okay so far. (But I can't bear this out alone. Please contact me if you have skills in numerical modelling, behavioural economics, machine learning and philosophy (well mixed), or any experience in industries related to urban planning)
Comment by makoyass on Antimemes · 2019-12-08T04:51:15.216Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Any sane person could write up a list of antimemes, but no sane person would post it.

It would tend to have the effect of making most people give up on the idea of antimeme, concluding that it's something that only insane people think about.

Comment by makoyass on Ungendered Spanish · 2019-12-08T02:24:35.697Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's interesting to hear that, I didn't realise that much change had occurred.

I would guess that the normalisation would have come from people spending a lot of time online/being in more situations where they don't want to and don't have to disclose a person's gender. Hm. I can see how the "they seem queer, don't want to assume their gender" might have promoted adoption by a lot.

Comment by makoyass on Ungendered Spanish · 2019-12-08T00:05:42.386Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My perception as a nonbinary is that this order of events makes things difficult

Many non-binary people adopt it as their pronoun. People get practice referring to specific named individuals with it: Pat said they might be early.
Usage expands into cases where the person's gender is not relevant: The person who gave me a ride home from the dance last night doesn't take care of their car.

Edit: A more succinct way of saying this is; making the neutral pronoun mean "third gender" will make it harder for it to come to mean "indeterminate gender", although The Third Gender is often defined as indeterminacy, I'm not sure how true or obvious that is for a lot of nbs

Having the nonbinary identity enter public consciousness seems to have caused the neutral pronoun to take on a weight and colour that makes it harder to apply it to non-nonbinary people. In English, since use in situations where gender is irrelevant is already grammatical, so I'd guess this has a negligible effect on usage (though it does seem to have caused a notable amount of brain inflammation in terfs and reactionaries that I must mention but probably shouldn't go into depth about), but in a different place, seems like this might be more of a thing

If you make it about identity first, gender-neutral terms become charged, and the second phase of making them common and truly neutral and uncharged will be delayed.

Some other force I'm not aware of could overwhelm these ones. I just find it a little hard to imagine. Oh well. Most cultural shifts, at some point, were hard to imagine.

But, as an alternative: The internet is an environment where reference-without-knowing-gender is likely to frequently occur. Maybe it would be better to start by advocating the use of genderless pronouns on spanish internet as a default, and talk about why that's important for everyone (why is it important for everyone?), and then start talking about nonbinary people later.

Comment by makoyass on The Actionable Version of "Keep Your Identity Small" · 2019-12-07T21:06:12.545Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was really hoping you were going to provide an actionable version of "keep your tribal identity small"

For me, the most useful parts of the KYIS outlook were, meeting people with a fresh slate without saying "yes I'm one of those people", not feeling like you personally are being threatened when people criticise your group, not feeling that impulse to delude yourself and everyone around you into thinking the outgroup are monsters.

The issue is, I notice that we can only stay in this state of neutrality for so long. Eventually, we find our tribe, we develop an ideology (cluster of beliefs about how the world works and how to do good) that is simply too useful to step outside of, we become publicly associated with controversial projects. That will happen. If we don't learn how to move soundly in that fire we wont end up moving soundly at all.

Comment by makoyass on The New Age of Social Engineering · 2019-12-07T20:50:11.529Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am starting to see a growing movement towards designing net systems humanely, designing things to respect the user's attention, to be healthy and useful instead of just optimising engagement. are.na and wt.social seem like two products of this movement. Unfortunately, I don't see a lot of competence here yet. wt.social as it exists now is mostly just baffling.

Comment by makoyass on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-12-03T06:07:05.501Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm. Perhaps if there were a consensus that some people have deep, sincere, sometimes metaphysical reasons for not being environmentalists, they could become a protected class. I'm not sure many people do, myself.

Comment by makoyass on Could someone please start a bright home lighting company? · 2019-12-01T01:11:37.751Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am frequently afflicted with the kinds of drowsy depressive states that I would associate with a state of dormancy in a deep winter. I think I heard that brighter lights generally increase alertness and productivity. My current model is.. the mechanisms for determining whether the human is indoors and (therefore?) about to sleep are just very very crude. The model is also trying to account for the the CO2 concentration thing, which, last I heard we didn't have any other plausible evolutionary accounts for.

Comment by makoyass on What's been written about the nature of "son-of-CDT"? · 2019-11-30T23:20:28.248Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I think I saw a bit on arbital about it

Logical decision theorists use "Son-of-CDT[red link, no such article]" to denote the algorithm that CDT self-modifies to; in general we think this algorithm works out to "LDT about correlations formed after 7am, CDT about correlations formed before 7am".

https://arbital.com/p/logical_dt/?l=5gc

Comment by makoyass on Could someone please start a bright home lighting company? · 2019-11-30T23:14:06.029Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No and it's summer in my hemisphere anyway (but I spend a lot of time indoors)

Comment by makoyass on Could someone please start a bright home lighting company? · 2019-11-30T22:38:03.126Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What if we just had brighter screens?

If it just needs to be brightness in the field of vision rather than brightness in the room, well, most of the time there's a (very large) screen dominating my field of vision.

I have now set my screen brightness in uncomfortable ranges. Having difficulty adjusting but feeling very awake. Will report back in a week, I guess.

I was considering projecting bright light onto the wall behind the screen (this would allow the light to be defused a lot, and it would be very easy to deploy, wouldn't even need to hang the thing, let alone make a power socket), but it occurred to me that having the backdrop be brighter than your screen tends to cause headaches.

Comment by makoyass on Book Review: Design Principles of Biological Circuits · 2019-11-24T04:58:55.968Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A large part of the reason this is interesting is that it bears on the alignment problem; if evolved mechanisms of complex systems tend to end up being comprehensible, alignment techniques that rely on inspecting the mind of an AGI become a lot easier to imagine than they currently are.

From a comment I made response to Rohin Shah on reasons for AI optimism.

One way of putting it is that in order for an agent to be recursively self-improving in any remotely intelligent way, it needs to be legible to itself. Even if we can't immediately understand its components in the same way that it does, it must necessarily provide us with descriptions of its own ways of understanding them, which we could then potentially co-opt.
Comment by makoyass on Thoughts on Robin Hanson's AI Impacts interview · 2019-11-24T04:00:39.676Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
I assume Robin would want one of the 20 chapters to be about whole-brain emulation (since he wrote a whole book about that)

Yeah! I would too! I'd guess that he'd anticipate emulation before AGI, and if you anticipate early emulation then you might expect AGI to come as a steady augmentation of human intelligence, or as a new cognitive tool used by large human populations- which is a much less dangerous scenario.

But... I read the beginning of Age of Em, he was so heroically cautious in premising the book that not sure whether he actually anticipates early emulation?? (I sure don't) And apparently he didn't bring it up in the interview?

Comment by makoyass on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-24T02:39:31.686Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Weren't the countermeasures kind of very basic, though? Like they weren't exactly the type of illegibly sophisticated egregores that trads like to worship? Isn't Tall_poppy_syndrome basically instinctive?

Comment by makoyass on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-24T02:30:45.104Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good reduction.

Drethelin here is on twitter. His posts are so good,

that I can almost ignore the amount of intentionally divisive politics memes. You create these wounds, brother, and you do not heal